Spring has turned the desert green

20160401_113645Friday mornings are kind of a ritual between Ahmad and I. We normally start with breakfast at Usra, our favourite little hummus place, before heading out for whatever it is we have planned. The last few weeks, however, we have not been able to leave the city for various reasons from work to weather and illness. Recently, we’ve changed it up a little bit with the lovely (and delicious) Hatouteh.

 

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On the Tourist Trail: Beit Sitti

We no longer have internet at home as we have apparently blown our way through 200gb in 3 weeks. The internet company told us the charge for internet per gig over our plan is 8 JD. To put that into perspective, we currently pay 38 JD per month for 200gb. Naturally, we refused.

So it is nearly two weeks later that I write about our experience taking a cooking class at Beit Sitti, something my flatmate and I had wanted to do for a little while. My flatmate’s friend from Germany offered us the opportunity as his way of saying “thank you” for letting him crash in our living room for a few days. It was very generous of him and I am very grateful. Continue reading

The World Scholar’s Cup, Amman Round

This year, 8 of my students participated in the World Scholar’s Cup in Amman, seven from sixth grade and one from seventh.

We arrived for the two-day competition early on Friday morning at the International Amman Academy (aka Queen’s School). The students were understandably visibly nervous but also very excited. There were at least seven of Amman’s top schools participating and all my sixth graders were new to the competition. Continue reading

Ayyam-i-Ha in Amman

Jordan is home to a small Baha’i community of approximately 1,000 people. After meeting a lovely Baha’i man in London at the House of Commons, I have learned a little more about the faith and he and his friends have always been exceptionally kind, welcoming, and interesting. It was he who introduced me to his niece here in Amman, a member of the Baha’i community and wonderfully well-traveled woman.

On Saturday, she invited me to join her and her family and neighbours for the Festival of Ayyam-i-Ha.  Continue reading

Off the beaten track: Dead Sea

I love Jordan. Every day I have a moment where I feel this absolute peace and think “I am in the right place”. Every single day since I moved here, 5 months ago.

That being said, one of the most frustrating things about Jordan is the fact that almost everything is privatized. You want to go to the Dead Sea for a day? The first thing people think of is “which hotel will I go to for day access?” Call me crazy, but I find paying a minimum of $50 for day access to a beach absurd. I also don’t want to spend a day floating in the Dead Sea and looking at a half dozen hotels and a lot of people. Continue reading

Snow in the Holy City

Now that I’ve been back in Jerusalem I have wanted to update my blog for a while… I never finished updating about my holidays because it began feeling a little like a chore.

I left the wild winter in Montreal on New Year’s Eve (though I am happy I stayed long enough to see the crazy, record-breaking snow storms in the Laurentians and in the city itself) and arrived in Tel Aviv shortly after midnight on January 1st. Nervous, but hiding it, I was surprised to have glided easily through immigration and I was out – back in Israel, back to somewhere I had been dreaming of for a long time. Continue reading

Breezing up north

The eighth of January was rainy. The gloomy weather seemed to complement and soothe my mood and I cried with the skies as we drove from Isfiya to Akko, which I had been dying to visit for a long while. Unfortunately, due to time restrictions we only had time to pop into the Old City for an afternoon visit, much of which we spent exploring the excavations of medieval buildings that belonged to the Knights Templar. We enjoyed it thoroughly.

Following that, we entered Old Akko proper and wandered through the market place looking for certain landmarks and historical sites and – to my mother’s great frustration – failing to find them. We continued beyond the city walls and by the sea. The hard-hitting spray and strong winds resulted in us quickly stepping back to protect our cameras and find a place where I could grab a hummus sandwich before heading back to the car and driving up to Rosh Hanikra.  Continue reading